Agency Management System

Your response to industry hot topics.

Moderators: Josh, independent guy

Which System You Like?

NexSure
23
16%
Applied TAM
18
13%
Applied Epic
5
4%
AMS360
4
3%
Ebix
24
17%
Newton
3
2%
EbixASP
1
1%
Hawksoft
16
11%
Nasa Eclipse
1
1%
Other System
45
32%
 
Total votes: 140

ZappMan
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Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 7:34 am

Re: Agency Management System

Post by ZappMan »

Hello,

A lot of good info here. I checked out the following;

http://agencymanagementsystemreviews.com/?page_id=42 Looks like it's due for an update, which they slot for this year, so that will be an interesting read.

Also-

http://agencyuserreviews.com/ Good info here as well some is outdated though.


I have read that Ezlynx is slow, has anyone seen improvements with this?

From what I can see so far, the ones to watch are EZLYNX, EPIC, AM360/FSC(VERTAFORE), SEMCAT, QQ CATALYST

I'm looking for a comp rater as well & it looks like the product that allows customers to get a rate from my website is yet another product.

So we have;
A management system
A comparative rater
A online rater for customers.

I'm sure there are "bundle" systems. I have noticed some people mixing systems.

I like the idea of getting a system that I will not have to update in a few years due to growth.

Thanks for all the info. I'll try & update my experiences, hopefully it to will be helpful to someone.


(UPDATE) 9-26-13

AMS360OL management system:
3k to set up your system, but I discounted it 100%
4k for training but I discounted it 50% at 2k upfront (in 12 monthly payments or $166.00 a month for the first year)
125.00 a month per user (1 user) and a base fee of $50.00 with a total of $175.00 a month
Total first year monthly bill will be: $341.00 a month (before taxes)

PL Rating system:
182.00 to set up, but I discounted it 100% at no cost to you
182.00 a month, but I discounted it to $125.00 a month
CRQ is $53.00 a month to have your rater on your website, can’t discount.
$178.00 if you wanted PLR and CRQ

$6,228 a year for everything. sounds steep

Update 9-27-13
Spoke to Applied, Doris was recommended

does do a quote said that a CR's gives a ball park while theirs is real time & if the quote comes back as XXX then that's the price.
unlimited space
real time iterface
for 3 users 280 per month
one time fee 1100ish

one user cost 375 set up
$138.00 per month

72 per user to add later on
marklowry
Insurance Journal Fan
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:11 am

Re: Agency Management System

Post by marklowry »

After many years with my current agency management system I researched new systems and compared their functionality and how they could best improve my agency. After quite a bit of comparison I arrived on the decision to move my agency to Aspire by Impowersoft. While their sales presentations and demos were impressive their product was never able to function for my agency. In the end I went back to my prior system and was able to get it back online. The total cost to my agency at this time is thousands of dollars, hundreds of hours in training and working with their staff, and the embarrassment of calling my prior provider and asking to reinstate my agency. In addition Impowersoft is refusing to refund any of my up-front deposit. I would never recommend their products or services. Caveat Emptor.
melodeepat
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Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:13 am

Re: Agency Management System

Post by melodeepat »

Our agency of 16 people is looking at switching from TAM to AMS 360. I have been a TAM user for many many years through 2 different agencies. In between both times using it I was at an agency that used AMS 360. In personal comparison, I like the TAM system better but could be just bias as I already know many of the key features on what to do.

What are your thoughts for those that are looking at making this switch? How was the transition?
gforaker
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Posts: 43
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:58 am

Re: Agency Management System

Post by gforaker »

melodeepat wrote:Our agency of 16 people is looking at switching from TAM to AMS 360. I have been a TAM user for many many years through 2 different agencies. In between both times using it I was at an agency that used AMS 360. In personal comparison, I like the TAM system better but could be just bias as I already know many of the key features on what to do.

What are your thoughts for those that are looking at making this switch? How was the transition?
What are your reasons for wanting to go from TAM to AMS 360? Many more agencies are going the other direction. The real comparison is TAM vs. AFW or Applied Epic vs. AMS 360. No comparison, really. Other agents which have moved to AMS 360 later report back that the product was misrepresented by salesmen and that Vertifore often gives a special upfront deal to hide the true support costs after the honeymoon. That aside, either company can handle your agency.
OldIndyAgent
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Posts: 80
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 7:07 am

Re: Agency Management System

Post by OldIndyAgent »

AMS Vertafore is letting experienced staff go... Usually when they do this it means they are trimming the books to sell the company. I heard they let all 12 of the agency management system integration developers go too.

Meanwhile, Applied is hiring like crazy.

Maybe Applied will by Vertafore... Now that would be something, I don't know what, but something....
kambers
Insurance Journal Fan
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2014 5:35 pm

Re: Agency Management System

Post by kambers »

I would like to encourage anyone who is wondering what's up with Vertafore and their suite of agency management system products (AMS360, Sagitta, BenefitPoint, WorkSmart, Platform) to join us in Nashville on March 6-8, 2014 for the NetVU (Network of Vertafore Users) conference. The new Vertafore CEO takes the stage on Friday morning, March 7! Attendance records have already been broken for this dynamic event!! You'll find all the details at http://www.netvu.org/NC/.
OldIndyAgent
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Posts: 80
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 7:07 am

Re: Agency Management System

Post by OldIndyAgent »

Zale, Muenzies, and others out, New CEO in, .... Change is in the air... sale???
IJ123
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Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 2:45 pm

Re: Agency Management System

Post by IJ123 »

Changes at Vertafore are unlike other organization including Applied. Jim Kellner / Reid French etc. Euan is still Vice-Chairman of Vertafore. The sale of Vertafore or Applied is an interesting gossip topic but not as important to what they bring to their customers. Involved with the industry, I have heard nothing about the sale of Vertafore but we can spin this the other way with Applied just being sold. I think we should focus on the topics of the management system. This is what is important to the discussion.
kambers
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Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2014 5:35 pm

Re: Agency Management System

Post by kambers »

Bravo.....Well said IJ123! Where's the "like" button?
stevenjaronson
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Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2014 2:40 pm

Re: Agency Management System

Post by stevenjaronson »

Let's face it - both Applied and Vertafore are owned by Venture firms. Thier job (not the vendor, but the bankers) is to maximize the return to their investors. I agree that this is not relevant to this discussion, as we're talking about the VALUE to the users on the ground.

Had to chuckle when the prior poster, gforaker suggested that "most agencies are going the other dicrection" meaning from AMS360 to TAM. Really? TAM is ... 20 years old? You're kidding, right?

Are both AMS360 and Epic leading edge systems? You bet they are. Neither one is right for everyone. Current users of either system have their bias (I am a very satisfied 360 user). To recommend the "other" system as better would be to admit I/we bought the wrong system - not gonna happen!

I think that Vertafore's direction of adopting a real, integrated agency management system, Vertafore Agency Platform, (rather than a policy management system) is a huge step forward and will result in greater efficiencies. Their adoption of ACORD's eForms is also a great stride forward while other vendors continue to build their own ACORD forms (a very slow process, I might add).

Considering a purchase? Go to each national users group meeting as suggested above. It's a small investment compared to buying the wrong system for the worng reasons. Talk to other users (not the sales guys) face-to-face. Find out what works and what doesn't. Talk to agents who do what you do - not the poster-child agent.

I'd buy 360 again tomorrow - for lots of good reasonas that are important to me and my agency.
InsuranceDiva
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Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:00 pm

Re: Agency Management System

Post by InsuranceDiva »

As a 30+ year user of Vertafore Systems I can tell you that regardless of any changes in leadership, staff, system capabilities over the years they have continued to be a solid reliable solution for our automation needs. I also appreciate their willingness to listen to their users as part of their development process, really taking into account their feedback. If you purchase their products you are automatically a member of NetVU (Network of Vertafore Users) and engaging with your fellow members at NetVU can really make a difference in what happens in future releases. If you are engaged and involved you already know all this, and if you're not, please join those of us who are - we'd love to see you in Nashville.
OldIndyAgent
Insurance Journal Addict
Posts: 80
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 7:07 am

Re: Agency Management System

Post by OldIndyAgent »

You guys shilling for AMS... you have only 1 or 2 posts... kambers...get a paycheck from AMS?

Truth is, this does affect the users. Every time, it seems one of these sales happens, cuts are made to staff... That is why so many agencies have to buy support from outside vendors. I was very disappointed to hear that experienced technical staff were being cut.
gforaker
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Posts: 43
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:58 am

Re: Agency Management System

Post by gforaker »

stevenjaronson wrote:Let's face it - both Applied and Vertafore are owned by Venture firms. Thier job (not the vendor, but the bankers) is to maximize the return to their investors. I agree that this is not relevant to this discussion, as we're talking about the VALUE to the users on the ground.

Had to chuckle when the prior poster, gforaker suggested that "most agencies are going the other dicrection" meaning from AMS360 to TAM. Really? TAM is ... 20 years old? You're kidding, right?

Are both AMS360 and Epic leading edge systems? You bet they are. Neither one is right for everyone. Current users of either system have their bias (I am a very satisfied 360 user). To recommend the "other" system as better would be to admit I/we bought the wrong system - not gonna happen!
Saying TAM is 20 years old is like saying Microsoft Windows is 28 years old. It sounds interesting, but says nothing important. AMS salesmen a few years ago got great glee in pointing out that a few TAM utilities were still in 16 bit code (all are now 32 bit) which again, really didn't matter much at the time before Windows 7. It sounded important, but meant nothing as long as it worked.

Like I said, either system can handle your agency. The point to the poster who revived this thread is that it rarely is worth the expense to go from Applied to Vertafore or from Vertafore to Applied. When facing a merger or major acquisition then the decision must be made. Otherwise, just get to know your own system better. Most agencies do not use all of the capabilities their system is capable of.

I am much more doubtful about some of the other systems mentioned in this thread. Many of the posts seem to come from trolls or vendor employees. Only trust your agency with a system which has the financial ability to continue development over the next 10 or 20 years and will be around.
vacowtipper
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Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Feb 03, 2014 7:04 pm

Re: Agency Management System-PAYMENTS!!

Post by vacowtipper »

I am trying help a small 1.2 mil independent agency with their day to day operations. The book is mostly non standard and they spend all day taking payments without any time for sales. They will fold if something does not change.Is there an agency management software that comes with an app for customers to make payments on their own? I am thinking mobile app or anything that helps. Thanks.
JimatJKD
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Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:47 am

Re: Agency Management System

Post by JimatJKD »

Take a look at Intuit Payment Network. https://paymentnetwork.intuit.com/

I invoice in AMS360 and then send a payment request with the invoice attached via IPN. They also have the ability to put a "Pay" button on your web site, email, etc. Cost is reasonable. I use it to invoice clients where mail takes too long.

I don't think you would find a management system that does that function well. That is the tail wagging the dog to choose a system based on that requirement.
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